Saturday morning I woke up feeling pretty good. My knee wasn't hurting at all and I felt really well-rested despite my lack of sleep. I had driven to Acadiana Park the day before because I had NO CLUE where I was going and you do NOT want to be lost on race day. I ran into Elle Noel and we headed to the park, but I ended up misjudging the starting line and we had to backtrack a quarter of a mile or so...let's call it a warmup, shall we?
There were only about 150 people in this race, so I started out pretty strong since I didn't have to weave through the pack. We ran through a neighborhood and then around some main roads before turning onto this little scenic highway and ran under Interstate 10. From that point on, the scenery was just gorgeous. There were beautiful fall-colored trees and leaves all over the ground. Yea, it's mid-December and things are just starting to look fall-ish here in Louisiana.
Running isn't so bad when there's pretty stuff to look at and fall leaves to crunch!
I maintained a pretty strong pace (right around 11 min/mi) until mile 8 when I stopped for water and some Shot Bloks. Not long after that, we had to get across I-10 again... But this time, we went OVER instead of under. That overpass pretty much killed my pace vibe, but it was pretty cool to look down and see all of the cars zooming by underneath. I hovered around a 12 minute mile for the rest of the race and finished it in a total of 2 hours, 30 minutes, and 48 seconds, which was 30 minutes faster than the Zydeco Half back in March (3:00:39). THIRTY MINUTES FASTER, people. In eight and a half months. Needless to say, I finished on a pretty major runner's high because my goal was to finish in 2:30!
I'm too cheap to buy race photos, but this one might be worth it.
These lovely ladies were waiting at the finish line to cheer me on. I have to say, being a part of a running group makes SUCH a difference in your training and in the race-day excitement! And the best part about being the slowest? Automatic cheerleaders, because they all finish before me!
I got this super cute medal to commemorate my efforts. I don't think I'll ever drink another beer without my little gator buddy!
All in all, the Cajun Country Half Marathon was a really fun experience and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Yea, I said fun. I actually enjoyed this race so much I'd go so far as to call it FUN! Part of the fun is in challenging myself, and I'm learning more and more about myself as a runner each race. Training for a marathon is time-consuming, and hella difficult, but I just keep thinking about how lucky I am to have this opportunity to train, learn, and grow as a runner, wife, and mom.
Until next time, get out there and enjoy the weather (wherever you may be)!
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Steph Says: My Second Half Marathon
Last weekend, I ran my second-ever half marathon- the Cajun Country- and it didn't suck! It was actually a pretty fun race...dare I say I enjoyed myself?!?
The night before, I dropped Rascal off at my mother-in-law's for a little sleepover since The Hubs was out of town. I made a quick stop at CVS for some more Advil because my knee/hamstring was still bugging me and I was fresh out of anti-inflammatories. When I got home, I laid out all of my gear as I always do before a race. And as usual, I tried to go to sleep early but I was too anxious/excited to sleep.